Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic 1st Round Update


Aug 16, 2014; Pittsford, NY, USA; Beatriz Recari hits her tee shot on the 4th green during the third round of the Wegman

The first round was, indeed, Sweet Home, Alabama for a number of players at The Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic!  The tourney got off to a great start at the RTJ Golf Trail Capitol Hill Senator course in Prattville, Alabama yesterday.  Stacy Lewis and Mi Jung Hur set the pace for the field at -8.  Alabama grads Stephanie Meadow, Kathleen Ekey and Jenny Suh, paired for the first and second rounds, played to the accompaniment of Roll Tides from the gallery, their caddies, and each other.  And Beatriz Recari, Giulia Molinaro, and Joanna Klatten all got an Ace, Recari and Molinaro on the 163-yard par-3 13th and Klatten on the 174 yard par-3 7th hole.

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1st Round Leaders

Hur went out in the morning wave and tied her career scoring best with a 8-under 64 to take the early clubhouse lead.  And for the first 12 holes Stacy Lewis played, it looked like that lead would hold for Hur.

But then Lewis did what Lewis seems to always do and unleashed a birdie barrage on the back nine, pouring them in on five of her last six holes, including her last three, to tie Hur’s 8-under-par 64 after round one at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.

Always a bit understated, Lewis was pleased with her back-9 delivery:

"Even if I don’t finish that way, it was a good round, but definitely nice to birdie the last three.  — Stacy Lewis"

Stacy Lewis

Since her win at the end of June in Arkansas, Lewis had reeled off six consecutive top-25 finishes. That might fly with anyone but Lewis, who expressed disappointment in her finishes but said she felt like her game was on the verge of getting back to the play that helped her win three tournaments in two months earlier this year.

"I played really solid last week and the scores just didn’t really show how I played. So I felt like things were coming along and getting closer and it showed out there. I hit my wedges a lot better, which is always a good sign for me. When my wedges get back on track that usually gets the entire swing back going in the right direction."

Lewis and Hur will take a one-shot lead into the second round over rookie Paula Reto’s career-best 65. Hur arrives playing as good of golf as anyone on Tour after a tie for 9th finish at the Portland Classic Presented by Cambia Health Solutions and a tie for 3rd last week at the Evian Championship.

Meadow’s Quest for the Tour Card

Roll Tide apparently had an effect on Meadow’s game.  She fired a 4-under 68 to open. A good finish here could change her next week’s plan to participate in the second stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament.  As of now Meadow needs it.  After making $271,373 at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open with a third-place finish, Meadow would currently sit No. 38 on the money list.

Meadow could still qualify for the Tour under the non-member top 40 clause if the amount of money she earns this year falls inside what the top 40 on the money list earned, but with eight events left in the season and Meadow not in the field for any, this is her last shot. Therefore, it’s going to take a big week to accrue enough money to make that early December trip to Daytona Beach unneeded.

2nd Round Schedule

The sun’s going to shine on the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic and with the early fall Alabama temperatures in the low-90s the girls are going to need their sunscreen and shades.  The first players are on the tee and the final group tees off at 1:39pm ET.  Golf Channel coverage begins at 5pm ET and will cover the day’s highlights as well as the final holes of the 2nd round live.

My colleagues and I at ProGolfNow will continue to provide news and updates throughout the tourney.  Follow me @bethbethel and Annette Walker @TinkWalker on Twitter and we’ll notify you as we publish current news and commentary.